(Virtual) Wednesday Seminar: Collaborative qualitative research in times of pandemics: An experiment with autobiographical reports from the field via Zoom

Independent researcher Dr. Elsa Lechner will discuss collaborative ways to conduct research during a pandemic.

Picture of Dr. Elsa Lechner.


This seminar will focus on a collaborative proposition for conducting qualitative research in a moment of international confinement through digital interactions, being based on autobiographical field reports to be sent by participants beforehand. The experiment draws from previous experiences in group work online, i.e. two workshops held in May/June 2020 with researchers from different countries interested in biographical approaches, and will implement a collaborative framework of interaction between Elsa Lechner and the participants from beginning to end as a way to enhance the possibilities of doing fieldwork online.  

Before the seminar, participants will be asked to send the speaker a short autobiographical text (1-3 pages) about their reflections/questions/experiences regarding their respective fieldwork tentatives. During the first half an hour of the seminar Elsa Lechner will present the theoretical and practical contours of the proposition, to be followed by the reading of the autobiographical testimonies. These should conduct to a moment of voicing the resonances between the different accounts/persons in action. I will orchestrate the voices guided by the larger partition on collaboration versus competition, emotional literacy and sensibility.

The goal of the seminar is to experiment in loco the collaborative reading that facilitates a new kind of human interaction online for the purpose of further research work. Participants will be familiarized with the techniques of collaborative reading, resonances, and connections between thinking and feeling the work to be done.



Elsa Lechner holds a PhD in Social Anthropology (EHESS - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales 2003, Paris, France) and has conducted a research career about migrations and biographical studies until recently. She was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Brown and Rutgers-Newark Universities (2014/15), an auxiliary and Principal Investigator at the Centre for Social Studies-University of Coimbra (2009-2019), where she has developed research about Portuguese emigration, as well as immigrants and refugees in Portugal.

Published Oct. 14, 2020 1:37 PM - Last modified Oct. 22, 2020 1:42 PM